Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thursday, April 30

Hello to all! I'm posting the blog early this evening (don't be too surprised). :-) My body is telling me to go to bed early. It has been a quiet day in the BICU. The occupational therapist stretched Clay's fingers and played a few games with him. The physical therapist stood him to his feet during our 2:00 visit. He has open wounds on his lower back, behind his shoulders, on his elbow, and behind his knee; so, he doesn't like to be moved or touched. His donor sites are still really painful, he's coughing up a lot of secretions, and he's worn out. Needless to say, he did not feel like standing to his feet for therapy. He was crying, but was so brave and stood for a few moments. He is almost totally weaned off of his morphine and amnesia medication. He only gets more pain medicine as needed. We had some of our ministers and some friends visit today, and it was nice to see them all. We are going to head back for our last visit of the day (7:30-8:00). We hope he has a restful night. We are thankful for rest ourselves both spiritually and naturally. Hope you all have a restful night too. Thanks and hugs to all!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wednesday, April 29; Surgery XI

Hello to all! Chance went back home this afternoon. We have not seen the surgery chart so we do not know the specifics of the surgery. Our understanding is that most of the pinkie finger was removed and small portions of all the others. The dressing around his hand looks like a boxing glove and I told him that it was pretty neat to have a "boxing glove" bandage. This dressing will be taken off in a few days. He was really groggy when we were able to see him after surgery. When he woke up, he motioned that he hurt around his donor sites. Skin was taken from his right side and his shoulder to graft the hand. We were told that his donor sites probably hurt worse than his hand because they are superficial. He is feeling more pain after this surgery compared to the previous ones because they have gradually decreased his morphine. They are thinking about possibly moving him out of ICU next week.? We were worried about moving him since the back of his head still needs to be grafted. The majority of his "open" wounds have been grafted (a few little spots + the back of the head remain "open"). Surgeries are still performed when they are moved to the Acute Burn area. This is great progress! Although, change can be a little scary. Dr. Arnoldo will be back on for the month of May. He and his team will assess and make the final decisions as to when Clay needs to be moved. Clay also had a smaller trach tube and a new feeding tube put in while he was in the O.R. Once his vomiting is resolved, the speech therapist will be able to cap his trach so he can talk to us. He did get to have some apple juice this afternoon, but it made him sick to his stomach again. I hope we can get this resolved soon, because it is so uncomfortable for him.
Thank you for all your encouraging posts, texts, and letters. Above all, thank you for your prayers. We had a bible study with Clay this evening and then we asked him if he wanted us to sing him a song. He held up 3 fingers so we sang hymn #3 in our hymn book - "Tell me again of God's wonderful love...".

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tuesday, April 28th

Hello to all. This is Chance. Here tonight for tomorrow's surgery. Clay had a pretty busy day. I think he had an opportunity to see every type therapist they have at Parkland. He seems to be stable and appears stronger each day. Dr. Purdue prepared us for the worst tomorrow. He seems to think they will have to remove a large portion of all fingers. We appreciate all of the prayers for Clay's hand. We will pray tonight and know that his hand will be in God's during surgery in the morning. Clay is scheduled for the first case in the O.R. tomorrow. We would like to wish everyone a good night and hope everyone has a good day. Thanks to everyone for the kindness shown our family.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Monday, April 27th

Hey everyone this is Aunt Dana (DeeDee's twin sister) and Uncle Jace posting tonight's update... due to DeeDee lacking in the sleep department.
Clay had a pretty good day but seemed to have trouble keeping his juices down and was unable to stomach any of his food. It was the first time he has had anything in his stomach for several weeks and his stomach will take some time getting back to normal. His dietitian ordered a tray from the cafeteria today so Clay could taste and feel the texture of the food, but nothing seemed to appease his appetite and he turned the food down.
He and Kermit got to sit by the window together in their special chairs. They spent their time watching the airplanes arrive and depart the nearby airport. On the way back to their rooms, the nurses decided to race the boys down the hall. No parents were there to witness the fun and the winner has yet to be decided, but Uncle Jace believes Clay won in a photo finish;)
Clay was kept busy by several visits from his many therapists. The occupational therapist made a new cast for his right hand. It is the third cast that has been made especially for Clay, each gradually made to stretch his hands and fingers a little more each time. The occupational therapist sang the McDonald's song and did the hand movements with Clay which brought a smile to his face. The musical therapist stopped by and played a few songs and, the physical therapist came by and walked Clay. He cried because he didn't want to but did anyway (what a trooper). He was able to sit in DeeDee's lap after his walk and she read to him as Grandma fanned him and tickled his feet.
Chance and DeeDee are grateful for all the thoughts and prays from everyone and feel they can not thank you all enough. We, as family, are also thankful for the support everyone has shown. Thanks Stephanie and all the other nurses in ICU for all your hard work!!

Photography fundraiser

It's Jenae...again. Some other close friends of ours have put together a fundraiser for May 2. It's a photography session. The details are in the comment section under "5K Fun Run". The website is and choose Fite Fundraiser for more information.” Thanks so much, Jenae

5K Fun Run

This is Jenae, DeeDee's sister. A close friend of mine has done lots of work and has put together a 5K Fun Run in Lewisville, TX. She has posted all the information on the comment section for Saturday, April 25 and under the name of Callie Tischler. Thanks and to those of you who will participate...have fun!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday, April 26

Hello to all! Hope you all had a restful Sunday. Chance and the boys headed back home this evening. Chance will come back for Clay's surgery on Wednesday. Carson has two TAKS tests this week, so it will be a big week for him. Dad & Cody will need to make sure that Carson (big brother) gets the rest he needs before the tests. :-)
The physical and occupational therapists do not come to the burn ICU on Sundays; so, Clay did his own therapy. He exercised his legs by kicking his orange ball again. He exercised his arms and his right hand by squeezing a ball, rubbing his monkey pillow, and picking up different items. He sat by the window this afternoon and watched for airplanes. We also rolled his chair to the ICU doors and he was able to wave to some family and friends when the doors opened. Stephanie (his nurse) also wanted to show us what Clay did between visiting hours. After wound care, she had placed him in his chair. She was cleaning up, when she noticed that Clay had picked up his suction tube and was suctioning the saliva in his mouth. The fact that Clay took the initiative to suction himself was a huge step, and brought tears to her eyes. She told some of the other nurses and they all clapped for Clay. We are grateful for God's healing and Clay's progress. Thanks to all & have a good night!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday, April 25th

Hello to everyone. Clay had a busy day. He was resting during the 6:00 and 8:00 visits. He was awake and ready to go after his dressing change. When we came in at 11:00 he was sitting up in his chair with his legs wrapped. This is done for circulation and support when he is sitting up or exercising. We visited with him for just a moment and then the physical therapist arrived and asked him if he was ready to take a walk. He was not ready but Mom and I convinced him that it was in his best interest. He walked to the end of the ICU and then set between Deidra and I on the bench for few moments. There was a recliner type chair and when Clay stood up and started the return trip he planted his feet and forced air over his trach and said a forceful, "chair." This does not happen very often and Mom and I were both surprised to hear it. When we arrived back at his room there was the rocking chair sitting outside and Clay stopped again and pointed at it. We understood this and moved it in and let him spend the rest of the visit in Dad's lap while Mom fanned and read a story. He spent the majority of the afternoon sitting upright in his chair. At the 5:00 visit Robert, his nurse today, said he was not wanting to go back to bed. We offered to hold him again in transit from chair to bed. This seemed to work and we helped lay him back in bed about 5:45 knowing he would quickly go to sleep. Wrong. At the last visit of the day Clay was really wound up. He was in good spirits and very active. Deidra held his orange ball over his feet and he would kick with alternating legs until he ran out of breath. He would catch his breath and start over. He swatted it with his hands and seemed as alert and active as he has been in a while. We are not sure what to attribute this to, but it did our hearts good to catch a glimpse of the old Clay spirit. If you guys have not noticed, this is Dad typing tonight. I received another treat today. I have not seen Clay's facial features in 4 weeks due to the bandages and my work/boys school schedule. It was good to see Clay's face today. All in all it was an encouraging day. Thank you to everyone for your prayers and wisdom. I hope everyone has a good Sunday. Good Night.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday, April 24

Good evening to all! We are going to try to get this posted a little earlier tonight. Today marks Clay's 70th day in the burn ICU. He was awake all day, so we hope he sleeps well tonight. He is still coughing up quite a bit of secretions and has to be suctioned frequently. He is still dealing with the vomiting (emesis) and at times has the dry heaves. He rolled his orange, spiky ball between his feet frequently today. He has found a way to tickle his feet when we have to step out of his room. :-) When we arrived for the 11:00am visit, Clay and his nurse (Stephanie) were sitting at the end of the hall looking out of the window. This window faces the front of the hospital. There is also an airport close to the hospital, so Clay would point to every airplane he saw take off. Aunt Lorna (mom's sister) and I counted for him since he cannot talk right now. We counted 8 planes taking off in our direction within 30 minutes. Clay would follow them with his eyes until they disappeared. Then it was time to head back to his room to get hooked back up to his IVs, oxygen, etc. The physical therapist stood him on his feet during our 2:00 visit. This was uncomfortable for him and he immediately wanted back in his chair. The physical therapist brought a musical floor mat. He walked across it a few times with our help. Uncle Justin was in the room with me and was cheering him on. It has been 8 or 9 days since he last stood on his feet or walked. Mandy (P.T.) got her exercise, along with Clay, today. He will gradually get stronger each time he walks. Aunt Susan came to see him this evening and he was too tired to wave with his hand, so he waved with his toes. It was cute. His next surgery is tentatively scheduled for next Wednesday. They will perform surgery on his little left hand. We hope you all have a restful night & weekend. Thanks to all!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thursday, April 23

Hello to all! We hope you all had a good day. Clay has spent his day coughing up secretions from his lungs. They are also frequently suctioning his trach tube. When he coughs, he gags and up come the gastric juices from the stomach. He is worn out from all this vomiting. He is and has been on several different antinausea medicines. His blood pressure, oxygen level, heart rate, and temperature are all stable and look good.
Clay's occupational therapist made him a new mouth splint. This will help stretch his lips and help him open his mouth better. She also brought some fun toys in for his therapy. The physical therapist helped him exercise his legs while he sat in his chair. Kermit walked to Clay's room and they waved to each other. We hope he gets some rest tonight. We are thankful for God's healing and we are thankful again for all who are taking care of Clay in the ICU. Hugs and thanks to you all! We are thankful for all your heartfelt prayers!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wednesday, April 22

Good evening to all! Clay had an x-ray last night and it showed that the left lung had quite a bit of mucus in it. His heart rate was elevated and the oxygen level in his blood was lower than it needed to be. With the respiratory therapist and his nurse working together, they were able to help him get a lot of the secretions out. This helped with his heart rate and oxygen level. Even though his feed tube is going directly into his intestine, he is still vomiting gastric juices. His nurse told us that the secretions, he is coughing up, cause him to vomit. He was taken off of the respirator this afternoon and placed back on the trach collar. He was a little more alert during some of our visits today. He played tic-tac-toe with his occupational therapist. He also showed her how he could spell his name with magnetic letters. After he did this, he was tired and went to sleep. We can tell that he is beginning to feel better because he wanted his feet tickled during a visit. Clay loves to have his feet softly tickled (not rubbed):-). We are not sure when his next surgery will be - I don't think that he will have another one this week. Dr. Arnoldo looked at his facial grafts today and said that he was very pleased. The burn doctors are amazing.
We are thankful for you all. We are thankful that God is leading and we will gladly follow.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tuesday, April 21

Hello to all! Clay was taken off of the respirator and was placed on the trach collar early this morning. He could hardly open his eyes because of the swelling; although, the swelling has decreased during the past few days. He was agitated quite a bit today and seemed to get anxious when he needed to urinate. He also seemed to be constipated. We reassured him that it was okay to go in the bed because he has a pad underneath him. We remind him that he needs to go anytime he feels like it. The physical therapist came in to work with him (this afternoon) and he was not very responsive; we could tell that he was not feeling well. They sat him up for a moment and this caused his oxygen level to drop. They laid him back down and placed him on the respirator to give him a rest. He was getting a breathing treatment this evening and will be on the respirator through the night. He did vomit again today and another tube was placed through his nostril. This tube goes straight to the intestine. They will see if this helps some with the vomiting. Clay kept his nurse busy today and I know she will sleep well tonight. We hope you all sleep well too. Thanks and hugs to all!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday, April 20

Hello to all! I called Carson and Cody this evening, and they said that they had a good day at school. The dressing on Clay's face was taken all the way down this morning. His grafts looked really good and had adhered well. He is still pretty swollen from surgery. He stayed on the paralytic till about 4:30 this afternoon. There were a few issues with his oxygen level during wound care. His stats went down when he was turned to his side. This was all resolved and his stats went back up. He will be kept on the respirator through the night as well. This is necessary as he wakes up and begins to breathe on his own. They will gradually wean him off of the respirator throughout the night. During our last two visits, he was beginning to move some. He was able to open his swollen eyes, a little, when he heard our voices. We trust that God will comfort him and keep him as he becomes more alert tonight. We send our sincere thanks to all of you!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday, April 19

Good evening to all! Hope you all had a restful Sunday. It was a quiet day of rest for Clay. He was not taken off of the paralytic drip today. The doctors want to look at the grafts tomorrow and then make a decision. If the doctors are pleased with the grafts, then he will probably be taken off of the paralytic. He has the Pseudomonas bacteria growing in his lungs and this will be treated with an antibiotic tonight. We were told that this is a common problem in patients hospitalized with burns. It will also be helpful when he can help cough it up on his own. His eyes, feet, legs, etc. are swollen; although, this could be a result of the IV fluids that he is receiving. They had stopped his tube feedings on Friday, before surgery. They started the tube feedings back, in small amounts, after surgery. They were able to increase the volume of his tube feedings today, and this made us feel better. We are not sure if Clay will have another surgery this week or not. We are so thankful for all our ICU nurses, doctors, therapists, etc. We have grown to love them all, during our time here. We are especially thankful for our heavenly Father who guides and keeps us. Our hearts go out to the other patients in the burn unit along with their families. Chance and the boys headed home this evening. It's always sad when we part again.
We are thankful for all of you & hope you have a good night.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Saturday, April 18th

I hope everyone had a good day. Clay was on the breathing machine and was under the paralytic drip all day. This means he can not move a muscle. The nurses say that he can hear us but I am sure he is frightened. Dr. Arnoldo wants to insure that there is no movement on the sheet grafts on his face. We made every visit and tried to reassure him that he was doing great and that he was getting better through all his rest. We had some nice visitors today and an evening meal provided at the hospital. Thank you to everyone. Wishing all a good Sunday

Friday, April 17, 2009

Surgery X Friday, April 17th

Hello to all. This is Chance. Carson, Cody and I left Olney at 10:00 this morning to see Clay before he went into surgery. It has been two weeks since his brothers have seen him. When we walked in and told him Carson and Cody were here to see him he tried several times to sit up and I am sure he would have jumped out of bed had he been able. Cody read him a story. Carson told him about the new puppy he was going to get when he gets home. The visit went by much to quickly. They called for him in the O.R. and he was prepped and on his way down a little before 3:00 this afternoon. We had been prepared for a long procedure because we thought they were going to have both Purdue and Arnoldo in the surgery working on different areas. About 45 minutes into the procedure Dr. Purdue saw me in the hall and reassured me that everything was going well, but they had decided to concentrate on the face and postpone the hand for a later date. It appears Clay will get to keep all of his fingers a little longer. We were prepared for them to take a portion from several digits today. They rolled Clay up from the operating room about 6:15 this evening. Dr. Arnoldo told us that everything went as planned. He was worried about the skin color of the grafts. We as parents are most worried about function and getting him home. Today was a big step forward and the Doctors are making progress with each procedure. He still has the left hand and the back of his head, to be grafted, and we are not sure of the time line on either of these. We would like to thank both Doctor Arnoldo and Doctor Purdue for their expertise in helping Clay. Deidra and I both feel it would take a special calling to be a burn surgeon and we are glad they chose to do it. Thanks to everyone who prayed for Clay today, we hope today will be a jump start on his road to recovery.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thursday, April 16

Hello to all! Clay had the dressing on his face changed this morning. After the assessment, the doctors have scheduled Clay for surgery tomorrow. This is sooner than we expected. Skin grafts will be placed over the Integra and surgery will be performed on his little left hand. We are not sure what will be done to the back of the head. Once they have Clay in the O.R., they will have a better idea as to what needs to be done. Chance will drive down in the morning so that he can see Clay before surgery. Clay will be third case tomorrow, which will probably be around 1:00. Clay walked a little ways today and slept this afternoon. Good night and rest well ~ thanks to all!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wednesday, April 15

Hello to all. Clay got to sit in my lap again this morning, after his little walk. He doesn't like to get out of bed to walk. We tell him that he is exercising the muscles in his legs and tell him how strong he is. With the thick dressing over his head, the trachea tube, and a stiff neck it is hard for him to lift his head when he walks. While he was sitting on my lap, he began to cough and then was sick at his stomach. We were right there to help him and sooth him. Occupational therapy made a new cast for his right hand. The purpose of the cast is to help bend and stretch his little fingers. They changed the dressing on his face today. It is usually changed around 9:30am every other day. Today is was changed at 2:00pm - during visiting time. Clay and Kermit both had to have their face dressing changed. They did Kermit's at 1:00pm and did Clay's afterwards. We were not able to visit Clay from 2:00-3:00 because of this. This was the first time that we have had to miss a visit since we've been here. Clay is heavily sedated before they change the face dressing; therefore, he was sleeping during the last two visits of the day. There is an area of concern on the back of Clay's head that they noticed during the dressing change. For this reason, the dressing will be changed again tomorrow. We'll know more tomorrow and possibly have an idea of when Clay's next surgery will be. Thanks & hugs to all!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tuesday, April 14

Hello to all! We tell about Clay's activities throughout a day; although, there is no way to explain the feelings and emotions we experience. I want to take a moment to thank you all for your prayers, concerns, cards, letters, postings, blood donations, donations, t-shirt orders, bracelets purchased, meals, benefits for Clay, gifts, visits, encouragement, etc. My sister called the Carter blood bank to see if we could get a list of all who donated blood and was told that we could not because of privacy. We understand and just want you all to know that we are truly thankful. Friends and family who set up the blood drives in the Graham area told us about all who donated. We also understand that there are those who could not donate for various reasons, and just the intents of your hearts means so much. I (mom) was not even able to give blood because it makes me anemic and weak. There are also some who have sent a donation to Clay's benefit account and we did not receive addresses from this bank. We want to express our thanks to you all for everything and do not want to miss anyone.

Clay had a pretty good day. He seemed to smile when we placed his rubber lizard on the back of his hand. He would raise his right hand and flip the lizard in the air. This too was good therapy. He showed his night nurse (Jennifer) how he could swat his ball with his cast. He walked to Kermit's room today during our 2:00 visit. We had friends & two of our ministers visiting during this time (outside the ICU). While he was walking towards Kermit's room, he was able to lift his head and see the friends outside the ICU doors as they happened to open. We (therapists & I) walked Clay back to his room. He was hot and tired. We propped him in his wagon and fanned him, as his nurse (Patsy) hooked him back up to all his tubes. He was asleep during our 5:00 visit, but awake again during our last visit. Thanks to all!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Monday, April 13

Hello to all! Clay had a busy day today and his nurse (Bonnie) had a busy day along with him. His occupational therapist was working with him during our 8:00am visit. He was hot so we fanned him and ourselves. I think that his head gets hot with all that thick dressing around it and he likes us to fan around his head frequently. He had fresh, new dressing on his face at our 11:00 visit. We played a matching card game with him and then showed him a new, squishy ball. This ball looks like an orange sea urchin. We hung it from the light above his bed and he enjoyed batting it back and forth. Little did he know that this was excellent therapy for his arms. His nurse was standing beside his bed commenting on his ball; in turn, he backhanded the ball in her direction. We could see a smile and his eyes light up. During our 2:00pm visit, Clay walked to Kermit's room to give him a wave. He and Kermit have the thick dressing on their faces, so we tell them that they have some really cool bandages on. When Clay got back to his room, I got to hold him in my lap for about 30 min. While in my lap, the speech therapist came and did a swallow test on Clay. He swallowed some blue applesauce, blue apple juice, and a piece of graham cracker. He passed the test! We will get to slowly introduce some small amounts of pureed foods. We had a friend and his wife visit today. They brought Clay a book and a new, squishy ball. This friend was a burn victim over 20 years ago and is such an encouragement today. Thanks for all your care & Good Night!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sunday, April 12

We hope you all had a nice Sunday. Clay was awake for most of the day. He sat in his wagon for a few hours and at the 2:00 visit, he got to sit in Dad's lap. Dad lifted him out of bed after all his tubes, etc. were disconnected. His nurse connected them back once Clay was in Chance's lap. He placed his feet in my lap. I read some books and then used the books to fan Clay. He was sleepy during the 5:00 visit. Uncle Justin & I read him a few books. He was sound asleep by the time this visit was over. He was still in a deep sleep during our 7:30 visit. Clay seemed sad today during our visits. I mentioned this to our nurse, and she had noticed it too. Our nurse helped Clay with his hand therapy today. He was able to bend his fingers further into a fist after she worked with him. She also worked with him on his mouth exercises. Chance had to head back home this afternoon to be with Carson & Cody and to go to work. Carson & Cody spent an enjoyable weekend with some close friends (the Smith's in Seymour). My heart yearns to be with all three boys together again. Thank you for your continued prayers and support. We truly appreciate your kindness.

* Hymn: "I cannot see beyond the moment; tomorrow's strength comes not today, but blessed Lord I trust Thy keeping for just the next step on my way."

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Saturday, April 11th

Salutations. I hope that everyone enjoyed a good day. Mr. Fite was pretty busy today. He was resting peacefully at 6:00 this morning but that was in preparation for the rest of day. At 8:00 the physical therapist came in and stretched him to get him ready for a morning stroll. He walked down to the window where he was allowed to sit in Mom's lap for a bit. On the return walk to his room he stopped and started waving behind him. It took several guesses to figure out what he was trying to convey. It was finally determined that he wanted to back up and sit in his mother's lap for a longer period of time. He had to continue his walk with the promise of more lap time the next visit. As promised, at 11:00 I (Dad) was able to lift him out of bed and sit with him. This was a joint effort with all involved. Our nurse was busy hooking Clay back up to his oxygen, feed tube, and medication. Dad had the good job of hugging Clay. Mom was showing him his new seek and find books and reading a story. Grandma was on hand with a large book to fan Clay and keep him comfortable. Then it was time to put him back in his bed and reconnect all the tubes again. Anytime Clay walks or sits in our lap, it is a big process but so worth it. As soon as this visit was over the nurses had a scheduled dressing change on his face. These dressings are changed every other day. We had a nice lunch with some old and new friends and a surprise visit from some folks from Olney. Clay was pretty worn out for the last couple of visits tonight and appeared to be sleeping soundly. We want to thank all of the burn ICU nurses for their care and patience. Wishing everyone a good Sunday. Enjoy your friends and family. Thanks to all.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday, April 10

Hello to all! Sorry for the late posting tonight. Clay was asleep during all our visits today, except one. At our 11:00am visit, we walked into Clay's room and saw Easter eggs hidden. The childlife specialist had brought some eggs for Kermit & Clay. They each hunted eggs in their rooms. Clay was on his back, and when we sat him up he spotted the eggs. He wanted off the bed to go get them. Mandy (Physical therapist) held him under one arm, and I held the other arm. He was able to get the ones that were at his level. When he spotted one down low, he would move his eyes toward it and we would pick it up for him. We sat him in a big chair and opened his eggs. We sat the toys on a table in front of him and asked what he wanted to play with. He did not play with any of the toys because he was fast asleep. The little bit of walking wore him out. He slept the rest of the afternoon and was still asleep during our last visit. A few times he motioned for us to fan him but fell back to sleep. There is another 5 yr. old in the burn unit. He has a room between Kermit and Clay. It was quiet in their rooms this afternoon while they were all taking a nap. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Thanks to all of you!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thursday, April 9

Hello to all! Clay was asleep during all our visits today. He went to sleep when we arrived back from Children's hospital yesterday and slept all night and all day. They had to give him extra sedation medication while they changed the dressing on his face and hand. Then they had to give him more while they did his central line change (IV) this afternoon. They also gave him more blood today. The nurse said that this might perk him up. *Thank you for all the blood that has been donated on Clay's behalf. The Occupational, Physical, and Speech therapists couldn't get him to wake up either. They stretched his fingers and legs and he didn't resist. We were concerned with him not waking today; but, were reassured that it was the sedation medication. The Speech therapist asked if he would swallow some juice for her. I told her that she would get a response from him if she mentioned almond milk. This didn't even bring a response! We'll see if he's awake at 6:00am. We are grateful for all of you! Good Night~

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wednesday, April 8th

Good evening to all. Clay had a very busy and eventful day. He had a restful night. This is good because he needed it today. At the 8:00 visit the occupational therapist came in and spent about an hour and a half making Clay a new removable cast for his right wrist and hand. She is attempting to stretch the fingers down so he can eventually make a fist. She worked with him for quite a while. We told him that he was the first of the Fite brothers to get his own cast and we could sign it for him if he wanted. When she was finished he started raising his right hand and pointing. We could not understand what he was wanting until Mom realized he was wanting us to sign his new cast. No sooner had the O.T. left when the Physical therapy team showed up and gave his legs a good workout and then set him up in his bed and let him set up unassisted for a few minutes. By now it was after 11:00 and Stephanie still had to do his dressing change. We ran downstairs for a quick lunch and came back in around 12:15 for Clay's field trip. He was placed on another bed and guided through the mazes and tunnels of Parkland over to Children's Hospital for his upper G.I. test. This procedure went well. Deidra, Stephanie, Jolyn, and I all were allowed to stay in the room while he was being tested and we could talk him through the entire process which went off with out a hitch. They told us Clay's stomach and intestines looked perfect. First thing this morning he started indicating that he wanted ice. We told him maybe after his test. After all of the morning activities, the test and the two long trips intra hospital, when we wheeled him through the door of his ICU room he looked at us all and said ice. You can bet he had not forgotten. He was quickly given several chips, after which he promptly went to sleep. I had an opportunity to visit with Dr. Purdue this morning. He was optimistic and pointed out how far we have come. He wanted us to know that Clay is making progress in spite of the recent bumps in the road. He said that there will come a time down the road when Clay will not be able to stay in the ICU because there will be people coming in with burns that are going to be worse than Clay's. We don't expect this to happen anytime soon but we know that every day is progress. Clay was resting soundly the last two visits of the day and we know he was pretty worn out. We pray for anther good night that he can use as a springboard in his recovery. Thank you to everyone for your gracious cares, thoughts, and prayers. Good Night.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tuesday, April 7th

Hello to all. This is Dad I made an unexpected trip back to Dallas today. Thank goodness Grandma was here to make the exchange. I received a call from the Burn ICU at 3:30 this morning. Clay's heart and respiratory rate were elevated and they could not stop the vomiting. They had to place him back on the paralytic to stabilize him. Talk about knowing how to panic a father. I hesitated to call Deidra and Joy hoping they could rest until the 6:00 visit. I called DD at 5:30 and they already knew because they had called the ICU. We made plans for me to get the boys off to school and then head east. I explained the situation to the owner of my company and he was very understanding. They have been great through this entire ordeal. Deidra and I wanted to visit with Dr. Purdue and see if he had any solutions for Clay's recent problems (heart, vomiting, respiratory). We did not know that Purdue was in surgery most of the day, and we never had the opportunity to talk with him. Stephanie was his nurse today and she worked overtime trying to figure out what was causing Clay's problems. We are also thankful for the doctors, therapists, & dietitian who were trying to figure it out too. The dietitian told us that his calcium, sodium, electrolytes, etc. were balanced. When we came in for the 2:00 visit Clay had a new feeding tube and had been placed back on his original pain medication. These were adjustments that we were hoping might ease some of the problems. At 5:00 tonight Clay was alert and wanted several stories read. This was a good sign and we were more than happy to comply. He was given a new monkey pillow today and we showed it to him during this visit. It had a soft plush on one side and Clay indicated that he wanted the pillow in his bed. We gave it to him and he squeezed it in both arms, as well as he can, and started rubbing the plush side with his wrapped right hand. I asked if I could unwrap his hand and was told it would be fine. I did and he rubbed that pillow for the rest of the visit and he still had it in his arms at 7:30. He wanted more books read at the last visit and we were glad to help out again. We are so encouraged by the afternoon and felt much relief as we left the hospital. We called the Burn unit around 10:15 and our nurse told us Clay was doing well and was preparing to go to sleep. Thank you to everyone, our prayers and yours were answered. We are thankful everyday that God is in control. Sweet dreams to all.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Monday, April 6

Hello to all! What an emotional night & day. Our night nurse stayed in Clay's room. He pulled up a table and sat by his bed. We are thankful for all the wonderful nurses. Clay seemed to be doing better during our 8:00am visit and our 11:00am visit. At our 2:00pm visit, Clay's heart rate was fluctuating again and he was vomiting. He seems to be very restless in the bed. He seemed to constantly move his legs up and down and all around today. Four days ago they took Clay off the morphine and started giving him a new pain medicine. Poor little guy has had a rough time lately. They are going to keep him on the respirator periodically throughout each day. He is being given many different medicines right now. He is exhausted and we are exhausted just by watching. When we had to leave his room this evening, the respiratory therapist was needing to suction through his trachea tube. She could not suction until his heart rate went up. We want to thank you all for lifting us up in your prayers. We are thankful for renewed strength from God everyday. Thanks to all!

Monday (quick update)

Just a quick note. Clay's heart rate is stable now. They gave him some electrolytes and this helped. He was sick at his stomach again this morning, but seems to be feeling better. Chance is on his way home with Carson & Cody. Mom & I are headed back to hospital for the next visiting hour. Chance was able to take Carson & Cody in to see Clay at 11:00 am. It really seemed to lift Clay's spirits to see his brothers. What a long night we have all had... Thanks for all your prayers! We love you all! I will post more tonight.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunday, April 5

Clay's heart rate is fluctuating and we are not sure what is causing this. Chance is staying the night at the hospital and I'm at Ronald McDonald House with Carson & Cody. I'm on my way to put them to bed. Trusting & Praying always!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Saturday, April 4th

Clay had a tough day in the Burn ICU. He is still vomiting and the doctors and nurses have taken what we consider drastic measures to try and stop it. They have placed him back on the paralytic drip which means he is back on the breathing machine. They are trying to make his feeding tube bypass his stomach and go straight to his intestine. Deidra and I feel that these are steps that would not be necessary if he could have his mucous removed immediately when ever he coughs it up. We would stay with him around the clock, if we could, to suction his mucous. We sat quietly in Clay's room and were told that if he twitched a muscle that we were to alert the nurse so they could give him more sedation medication.
There was some sad and shocking news today. There was a young man that was in the burn unit when Clay came in. He had been there for approx. 7 months. He recently was moved to a different floor for physical therapy. His mother had told us that they would get to go home soon. This morning during our 8:00 visit, DeeDee was called out of Clay's room. This young man's mother was waiting for her at the nurses station. She wanted us to know that her son passed away this morning. This has been heavy on our hearts today. We are thankful for Clay's progress but today has made us realize how fragile life can be. Please continue to remember Clay. Thank you for all you have done.

Our hymn #276 has been an encouragement: "Sweet to tell Him all He knoweth, roll on Him the care, cast upon Him all the burden that I cannot bear; Then without a care oppressing, simply to lie still, giving thanks to Him for all things, since it is His will.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday April 3rd

Hello to all. Clay had a pretty good day except for a couple of bouts with an upset stomach again. He was sleeping soundly at 6:00 this morning but when he awoke and saw his mother he indicated he was hot and needed to be fanned. The physical therapist walked him about 50 ft and he was more than ready to make the turn and head back to the room. When he arrived they let him set up in his big chair for a bit. They have changed some of his medication trying to stop the nausea. We feel like most of the problem is caused by him coughing up mucous and having a strong gag reflex. We have never seen him throw up with out coughing first. We know that everyday is a step closer to his recovery and we are trying our best to wait patiently. Thanks to everyone for your gracious encouragements on the blog and elsewhere. Wishing everyone a good night.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Thursday, April 2

Hello to all! Clay had a pretty good day today in the ICU. Carson and Cody had a good day at school. I (mom) had a sweet moment today when I got to hold Clay in my lap. We have been missing all of Clay's "bear" hugs, and I was so happy to finally be able to give Clay a soft hug and hold him for about 45min. He propped his feet in Aunt Kay's lap and wanted us to read him some books. Aunt Kay held the books in front of us and turned the pages for us. :) Our physical therapist stretched Clay's legs and just had him stand up for a few minutes. He did not walk because he was too dizzy. Our occupational therapist made a new splint for Clay's right hand. It was so nice to have Clay interacting with us today. During one visit, he wanted to look at a seek-and-find book. He seemed to enjoy finding the objects in the picture. He found the object on each page before Kay & I could. With all the thick dressing on his face, he is not able to have his nose scratched when it itches. Although, he now wants us to fan him. I'm sure it gets hot underneath the thick dressing around his head. We can see that he is feeling better (no fever, lungs clearing up, wounds healing, etc). Dr. Purdue spoke with us today to tell us the plan. Clay is tentatively scheduled for surgery next Friday (April 10) or the following Monday (April 13). He will work on Clay's left hand. We will let you know more about this when we know more. We just take it a day at a time. Hope you all have/had a restful night. We want to express our thanks to all of you again.
~The chorus of one of our hymns was on my mind when I woke up this morning. These words were an encouragement for me today: "Our hope and confidence today are deeply rooted in the Lord. He'll guide us safely all the way and bless according to His word."


Just a quick note about the T-shirts - the deadline was March 27 when we posted it on the blog, but they are still taking orders if anyone is interested. There is still the opportunity to get one if you want. Thanks for all the support for Clay, Chance and DeeDee, and Carson and Cody. (posted by Jenae)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wednesday, April 1

Hello to all! I hope you all played nice April Fool's jokes today. Clay was a tired little trooper today. He was asleep during most of our visits. He opened his eyes a few times and motioned for us to fan him because he was hot. At 9:30am, he had nurses, doctors, & an Integra rep. in his room. They took the thick dressing off his face to get a good look at the Integra. Dr. Arnoldo told us that he was pleased with the way it looked. They will change this dressing (on the face) every 48 hours. Dr. Purdue is back for the next 30 days. He will assess Clay and let us know when & what the next procedure will be.
Physical & Occupational therapy worked with Clay this morning. They exercised his fingers and stretched his legs. All of this took place before noon; therefore, Clay wanted to sleep all afternoon. I hope he sleeps as well tonight as he did this afternoon. We are going to say our prayers and head to bed. Good night & thanks so much.